Title:
Scaffolding shelter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A scaffolding shelter having at least one wall and at least partially enclosing a scaffolding made of scaffolding sections. The scaffolding shelter comprises a plurality of self-supporting wall panels, each wall panel defining edges and being adapted to form at least a portion of a wall of the scaffolding shelter; and connectors adapted to provide engagement of the wall panels side by side, and one atop another; whereby the width and the height of the wall is adaptable by adjoining and superposing the wall panels side by side and one above another, respectively.



Inventors:
Richard, Andre (Issoudun, CA)
Application Number:
11/159239
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
06/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H14/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BRADFORD, CANDACE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Andre Richard (Issoudun, QC, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A kit for providing a scaffolding shelter having at least one wall and at least partially enclosing a scaffolding made of scaffolding sections, the kit comprising: a plurality of self-supporting wall panels, each wall panel defining edges and being adapted to form at least a portion of a wall of the scaffolding shelter; and connectors adapted to provide engagement of the wall panels side by side, and one atop another; whereby the width and the height of the wall is adaptable by adjoining and superposing the wall panels side by side and one above another, respectively.

2. The kit of claim 1 wherein the each wall panel has a rectangular frame, and a membrane secured to the frame; whereby each wall panel is adapted to support the weight of a superposed wall panel.

3. The kit of claim 2 wherein the wall panels are of the length and height of a scaffolding section of the scaffolding, the rectangular frame is of one of aluminum, plastic, graphite, wood and steel tubing, and the membrane is of one of a plastic material, a fabric material, and a sheet of laminated polyethylene weave, and is secured to the rectangular frame by adhesion.

4. The kit of claim 1 wherein the height of the wall panels is of 5 feet, and the length of the wall panels is of 10 feet.

5. The kit of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of fasteners, and wherein the panels are adapted to be fastened to the scaffolding by the fasteners to be kept from tipping over.

6. The kit of claim 1, further comprising at least one base member adapted to provide a leveled support to a wall panel against the ground.

7. The kit of claim 6 wherein the at least one base member includes at least two adjustable height levelers opposite to the wall panel support and spaced apart along the length thereof; and the wall panel support is adapted to receive the wall panel in mating engagement.

8. The kit of claim 1 wherein the connectors have opposed engagement portions, each adapted to receive a wall portion; whereby engagement of the wall portions is provided by the connectors used between adjacent wall panels.

9. The kit of claim 1 wherein the connectors are provided as oppositely mating edges such that one mating edge of one panel will engage with an opposite mating edge of another panel in a substantially air-tight manner.

10. The kit of claim 1 further comprising at least one elongated L connector having a transversal L shape defined by two flanges, and at least one attachment located at the junction of the flanges, whereby the L connector can secure two perpendicular wall panels from tipping over by an edge of each one of the two wall panels being engaged between a respective flange of the L and the scaffolding, and the at least one attachment being fastened between to the scaffolding between the two wall panels.

11. The kit of claim 1 further comprising at least two roof frames, each roof frame being of right angled triangular shape and having a base and an hypotenuse, the two frames being adapted to be secured to spaced apart locations along a scaffolding section; and at least one roof panel adapted to be secured at each opposite end to the hypotenuse of an opposite roof frame, to define at least a portion of an angled roof of shelter.

12. The kit of claim 11 comprising a roof panel connector adapted to be engaged onto a wall panel on one side, and to receive the angled roof panel at the other side to create a longitudinal connection between the shelter wall and the roof panel.

13. A method of providing a shelter at least partially covering a scaffolding, the method comprising the steps of: erecting a wall panel on a substantially horizontal support surface, by supporting it from below, the erected wall panel defining at least a portion of a wall of the shelter; and attaching the erected wall panel to the scaffolding.

14. The method of claim 13 further comprising the step of leveling a base member on the ground to provide a substantially horizontal support surface, and wherein the step of erecting includes engaging a wall panel onto the support surface of the base member.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising the steps of securing at least two angular roof frames to the scaffolding; engaging a roof panel with the erected wall panel and securing the engaged roof panel to the at least two secured angular roof frames.

16. The method of claim 13 further comprising the steps of securing at least two angular roof frames to the scaffolding; engaging a roof panel with the erected wall panel and securing the engaged roof panel to the at least two secured angular roof frames.

17. In combination with a scaffolding, a scaffolding shelter at least partially enclosing the scaffolding, the scaffolding shelter comprising: at least one shelter wall having a plurality of self-supporting wall panels supported from the bottom and mating with one another in a substantially air-tight manner and covering the scaffolding, the wall panels being adapted to be disassembled and reassembled in different configurations to adapt to different scaffolding configurations.

18. The scaffolding shelter of claim 17 wherein the shelter further comprises a roof including a plurality of roof frames adapted to mate with the scaffolding, and a plurality of roof panels secured to the roof frames and covering the upper portion of the scaffolding in a substantially air-tight manner.

19. The scaffolding shelter of claim 18 wherein the at least one shelter wall completely surrounds the scaffolding and mate in a substantially air-tight manner, further comprising tarpaulins covering remaining gaps between the shelter walls and roof, and a ground and a structure to work on.

20. The scaffolding shelter of claim 17 wherein the lowermost wall panels of the at least one shelter wall are levelably mounted to the ground via levelers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1) Field of the Invention

The invention relates to the field of scaffolding, and more particularly to a shelter for scaffolding.

2) Description of the Prior Art

Scaffolding is well known to the field of construction. It consists of a temporary structure which is erected in front of a surface to work on and allows workers to climb to their work area and to do their work at the desired elevation with much more ease than when using a ladder, for example. Although many advantages result of using a scaffolding, a need has been felt to have a shelter provided in combination with the scaffolding for workers to be shielded against inclement weather. Furthermore, since many masonry products are more efficiently used at a controlled atmosphere (temperature, humidity, etc.), a shelter would be desired in which the desired atmosphere could be maintained at reasonable costs.

It is known in the art to provide shielding by fastening tarpaulins to the scaffolding or to suspend sheets or fabric from the scaffolding structure. However, such shelters are often found to loosen when submitted to wind pressure and wind induced vibrations, and are often undesirably complicated to install. Further, gaps are often created between adjacent layers of the tarpaulins, and the breaches they form are hard to seal, especially when attempting to maintain a controlled atmosphere inside the shelter. Since know-how is important when installing such shelters, inexperienced technicians may end up having to take everything down and starting over with the hope of succeeding the second time, which results in undesired costs for the contractor.

From the above, it can be seen that a need is strongly felt in the art for a temporary scaffolding shelter which could be easily installed and removed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the invention is to provide a scaffolding shelter which at least partially overcomes some of the inconveniences of the prior art

One object of the invention is to provide a weather resistant scaffolding shelter with easy to assemble walls formed of self supporting panels supported from below.

One object of the invention is to provide a scaffolding shelter in which a controlled atmosphere can be maintained.

In accordance with one aspect, the invention provides a kit for providing a scaffolding shelter having at least one wall and at least partially enclosing a scaffolding made of scaffolding sections. The kit comprises: a plurality of self-supporting wall panels, each wall panel defining edges and being adapted to form at least a portion of a wall of the scaffolding shelter; and connectors adapted to provide engagement of the wall panels side by side, and one atop another. The width and the height of the wall is adaptable by adjoining and superposing the wall panels side by side and one above another, respectively.

In accordance with another aspect, the invention provides a method of providing a shelter at least partially covering a scaffolding. The method comprises the steps of: erecting a wall panel on a substantially horizontal support surface, by supporting it from below, the erected wall panel defining at least a portion of a wall of the shelter; and attaching the erected wall panel to the scaffolding.

In accordance with still another aspect, the invention provides, in combination with a scaffolding, a scaffolding shelter at least partially enclosing the scaffolding. The scaffolding shelter comprises: at least one shelter wall having a plurality of self-supporting wall panels supported from the bottom and mating with one another in a substantially air-tight manner and covering the scaffolding, the wall panels being adapted to be disassembled and reassembled in different configurations to adapt to different scaffolding configurations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in combination with the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a scaffolding shelter in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the scaffolding without the shelter of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a wall panel of the scaffolding shelter of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view, enlarged, of a base member of the scaffolding shelter of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a wall panel connector of the scaffolding shelter of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a corner connector of the scaffolding shelter of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view, enlarged, of a roof of the scaffolding shelter of FIG. 1.

It will be noted that throughout the appended drawings, like features are identified by like reference numerals.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In accordance with a one embodiment, an exemplary weather resistant scaffolding shelter 10 used to maintain a controlled atmosphere within a scaffolding work area is illustrated in FIG. 1. The scaffolding shelter 10 is constructed of a plurality of easily assembled components, as will be seen hereinafter, and which can be provided as a shelter-making kit. The scaffolding shelter 10 includes a front wall 12, a side wall 14, a roof 16, and is adapted to enclose the temporary structure of a scaffolding 17, which is shown without the shelter 10 in FIG. 2.

Many types of scaffolding currently exist, the scaffolding 17 depicted in FIG. 2 is one of the most frequently used in North America and is commonly referred to as “Mason scaffolding”. The preferred scaffolding shelter 10 is particularly suited for sheltering this type of scaffolding 17, but can be adapted to other types of scaffolding as well. Scaffoldings are typically made of one or more superposed or side-by-side scaffolding sections 18. For example, the scaffolding 17 illustrated in FIG. 2 can be seen to include four such scaffolding sections 18a, 18b, 18c and 18d. The sections 18a, 18b, 18c and 18d, are repeated in width and in height to adapt the scaffolding 17 to the height and width of the surface to work on. As it will be seen, the scaffolding shelter 10 can be easily adapted to the particular size of a scaffoldings 17 having a specific number of sections 18 in height and in width. Each scaffolding section 18 of the scaffolding 17 has two frames 19a, and 19b held apart from one another by two cross-braces 20. A second scaffolding section 18b, is added to a first scaffolding section 18a laterally by joining a third frame 19c to the frames 19a and 19b of the first section 18a using two cross-braces 20. To add an upper section 18c, two frames 19d and 19e are mated atop the two frames 19a and 19b of a lower section 18a, and the two mated frames 19d and 19e are secured to one another by two cross braces 20. When the scaffolding is erected, planks 21 are used between two frames 19 to provide walking support to the workers.

As it is seen in FIG. 2, the width “W” of a scaffolding section 18 is defined by the width of the scaffolding frames 19, and the height “H” of a scaffolding section 18 is defined by the height of the scaffolding frames 19. The length “L” of a scaffolding section 18 is defined by the length of the cross braces 20. In the scaffolding section 18, 5′×5′ frames are used with 10′×4′ braces, which results in scaffolding sections 18a, 18b, 18c, . . . 18n having an overall length of 10′, height of 5′, and width of 5′. Such scaffolding frames 19a, 19b, 19c. . . 19n and cross braces 20 are commonly used and can be purchased from United Access, Texas.

Turning back to FIG. 1, the front wall 12 of the scaffolding shelter 10 can be seen to include four wall panels 22a, b, c, d. Each wall panel 22 corresponds to a different scaffolding section 18 shown in FIG. 2. The lower wall panels 22a, 22b are supported from the bottom by a base member 24 which has been leveled on the uneven ground by levelers 25. The upper wall panels 22c, 22d are superposed onto the lower wall panels 22a, 22b and are supported by the latter. The upper wall panels 22c, 22d are engaged with the lower wall panels 22a, 22b via connectors 26. Left hand side panels 22a, 22c are also engaged with right hand side panels 22b, 22d via connectors 26. A wall panel 22e is used in upright position to form a side wall 14. The side wall 14 and the front wall 12 are joined together at the corner via a corner member 36. A roof 16 is provided atop the shelter 10. The roof 16 includes roof supports 34 and roof panels 32a, 32b. The front wall 12 is connected to the roof panels 32 by roof connectors 30.

FIG. 3 illustrates a self supporting wall panel 22 in more detail. To adapt to the dimensions of the scaffolding sections 18, wall panel 22 has a 5′ high by 10′ long rectangular frame 40 made of lightweight weather resistant material, resistant to rotting or corrosion, and preferably aluminum tubing. To increase structural resistance, a reinforcing member 42 connects the upper frame to the lower frame portions at mid length of the panel. A membrane 44 covers the entire panel 22, and has its edges secured to the frame 40 in a manner for the membrane 44 to be stretched across the surface of the panel 22. The membrane 44 is also made of weather resistant material, and is preferably made of laminated polyethylene weave, a material commonly used to make tarpaulins for construction and camping and which is easy to find. Attachments 45 are provided onto the frame 40 to provide for securing the erected panel 22 to the scaffolding using suitable fasteners, and to keep the erected panel from tipping over when exposed to wind, or the like.

FIG. 4 shows a preferred base member 24 used to support the erection of a first wall panel 22a from below. The base member 24 has a square U shaped support channel 23 adapted to receive the lower edge of a wall panel 22 within the channel 23. The base member 24 has levelers 25 extending opposite to the support channel 23, and which are used to level and adjust the height of the support channel 23 when the scaffolding shelter 10 is mounted on uneven ground. When the scaffolding shelter 10 is mounted on even ground, one can do away with the base members 24 and erect the wall panels 22a, 22b directly on the ground. The lowermost wall panels 22a, 22b can also be mounted directly on the scaffolding levelers. The levelers 25 preferably consist of a foot 45 with a threaded stem 46, and the threaded stem 46 being screwed into a socket 47 in the base member 24. The height of the support channel 23 relative to the foot 45 can then be adjusted by screwing or unscrewing the foot 45. A leveler 25 is preferably provided at each end of the elongated base member 24, and the length of the base member 24 is preferably that of the panels 22. The base member 24 is preferably also provided with attachments 48 such as press buttons or holes on one side to receive a tarpaulin 38 (see FIG. 1) used to seal the area between the channel 23 and the ground.

To begin mounting the front wall 12 of the shelter on uneven ground, the first step is to level the base member 24 using the levelers 25. A first wall panel 22a is then engaged into the U shaped support channel 23 of the base member 24, and is thereby supported from below. The erected wall panel 22a is then secured to the scaffolding frame 19 or cross-brace 20 using a suitable fastener such as a tie wrap, a metal wire, a strap with clamps at the ends, an elastic with hooks at the ends, or any other suitable fastener selected by one skilled in the art. The fastener is used between an attachment 45 of the panel 22a and a pole of the scaffolding frames 19a and 19b or cross brace 20. Although the panels 22 are self supporting, fastening them keeps them from tipping over when submitted to transversal forces, such as a gust of wind.

If the scaffolding 17 to be sheltered is more than one scaffolding section 18 high, the scaffolding shelter wall 12 will correspondingly be more than one panel 22 high to easily adapt to the height of the scaffolding 17. It is thus desirable that the lower edge of the panels 22b be adapted to engage with the upper edge of another panel 22a. A separate H-shaped connector 26 illustrated in FIG. 5 is preferably used to provide this engagement. The H-shaped connector 26 has an upper and lower elongated U shaped cross-section channels 49, 50. Both opposed channels 49, 50 are adapted to receive a corresponding edge of the panels 22a and 22b in a mating engagement. When a first panel 22a of a shelter front wall 12 is erected, an H shaped connector 26 is engaged onto the upper edge of the erected panel 22a by the lower channel 49. The lower edge of a second panel 22b is then engaged in the upper channel 50, and is thus supported from below by the first panel 22a. The second panel 22b is then secured to the corresponding scaffolding section 18. Successive panels 22 can then continue to be superposed atop the uppermost secured panel 22n in the same manner until a wall corresponding to the height of the scaffolding 17 is obtained. The H-shaped connectors 26 substantially cover the gaps that would remain between the superposed panels 22a, 22c and provide a substantially impervious junction to the panels. The H-shaped connectors 26 used to provide engagement between superposed panels 22a, 22c are preferably 9′10″ long to leave a free space near the edges of the panel 22 meant to keep the connecters 26 to interfere with one another.

To adapt the wall 12 to the number of scaffolding sections 18 in width, wall panels 22a, 22b are joined side by side using H shaped connectors 26. The H-shaped connectors 26 used to adjoin the panels 22a, and 22b are preferably 4′10″ long to leave a free space at the upper and lower edges of the panels 22. The free space is to keep an area at the junction between four panels 22a, 22b, 22c, 22d where the connectors 26 do not interfere with one another.

The width and height of front wall 12 of the shelter 10 can hence be easily adapted to the width and height of the scaffolding 17 to shelter, by using a number of panels 22 corresponding to the number of sections 18 and mating them to one another using the connecters 26. Once a shelter front wall 12 of the desired width and height is erected, side walls 14 are erected, perpendicularly to the front wall 12, to cover the sides of the scaffolding 17. The dimensions of the panels 22 used in the front wall 12 is preferably of 10′ long×5′ high. Since the width of the scaffolding sections 17 is also of 5′, the same wall panels 22a, b, c, d used in the front wall 12 with their 10′ edge as the base can be used as wall panel 22e in the side wall 14 with their 5′ edge as the base and correspond to the height of two front wall 12 panels. If a shelter of 4, 6, or 8 sections high is desired, the side wall 14 will include 2, 3 or 4 side wall panels 22e superposed along their narrow edge, respectively. The side wall panels 22e are superposed using H connectors, as described above. If the shelter is of an uneven number of sections high, 5′×5′ wall panels (not illustrated) are used to complete the side wall 14. In FIG. 1, one wall panel 22e is used in upright position to define a side wall 14 perpendicularly to a two-panel high front wall 12.

The front wall 12 and side wall 14 are joined using an L shaped member 36 which defines a corner of the shelter. The L shaped member 36, which is more clearly depicted in FIG. 6, has two opposed flanges 51, 52 extending perpendicularly from each other, and attachments 37 disposed along the length of the member 36, between the two flanges 51, 52. When installed, one flange 51 of the L shaped member 36 abuts the front wall 12 (FIG. 1), and the other flange 51 of the L shaped member 36 abuts the side wall 14. A suitable fastener is used to secure the attachment 37 to a vertical pole of the scaffolding frame 19 (FIG. 2). The fastener (not illustrated) passes between the front wall 12 and the side wall 14, and keeps the L shaped member 36 fastened to the scaffolding 17. The L shaped member 36 seals off the gap between the front wall 12 and side wall 14 and contributes to maintain the walls 12, 14 against the scaffolding 17 and to keep the panels 22 from tipping over.

Now turning to FIG. 7, it is seen how a roof 16 to the shelter 10 is provided. The sloped roof 16 includes one or more roof sections, each roof section corresponding to a scaffolding section 18 (FIG. 2). Each roof section includes two roof supports 34 and a roof panel 32a or 32b. Each roof support 34 has a frame of right angled triangular shape with a base 34a and a hypotenuse 34b. The base 34a is adapted to securely mate with one of a scaffolding frame 19d, 19,e, 19f, and preferably includes studs 37 extending from the base 34a and adapted to be inserted into the tubing structure of the scaffolding frames 19d, 19e, 19f. One roof support 34 is engaged with each scaffolding frame 19d, 19e, or 19f of a scaffolding section 18. A roof panel 32a is then positioned, with each lateral edge thereof against the hypotenuse 34b of an opposite roof support 34. The roof panel 32b is then fastened to the roof supports 34 with suitable fasteners, and thus provides an angled roof 16 to the shelter 10. The roof panels 32 are similar to the wall panels 22 in many aspects, but are made of a height which corresponds to the hypotenuse 34b of the roof supports 34. Preferably, the slope of the roof 16 is between 35 and 40 degrees, and the corresponding height of the roof panels 32 is of 6′4″. An additional roof panel 32b and roof supports 34 cover each additional scaffolding section 18 in width. The roof supports 34 that define the edge of the shelter 10 are provided with a membrane to seal the shelter 10.

The roof panels 32a and 32b can be joined to one another using H connecters 26. The roof panels 32a and 32b are joined to the wall panels 22b and 22d (FIG. 1) using roof connectors 30. The roof connectors 30 are similar to H connectors 26, but the upper channel is slanted at an angle corresponding to the angle of the roof panel 32. During installation, the roof connectors 30 are engaged with the uppermost wall panels 22, and the roof panels 32a, 32b are then engaged into the upper slanted channel of the engaged roof connector 30, and positioned against the roof supports 34, prior to fastening. The roof connectors 30 cover the gap between the roof panels 32a, 32b and the wall panels 22c and 22d and contribute to providing an shelter 10 adapted to maintain a controlled internal atmosphere.

As it is shown in FIG. 7, the upper end of the uppermost scaffolding frames 39 extend by about 2″ past the typical 5′ height of the scaffolding sections 18. This is caused by the fact that the upper ends 39 serve as male members adapted to mate with the lower end of a superposed frame, and which extend from the normal height otherwise. This results in an upper scaffolding sections 18c and 18d that have a height which is slightly greater than the ones below them. When the roof supports 34 are installed onto the uppermost frames 19d, 19e, 19f (see FIG. 2) and the roof panels 32a, 32b are secured to the supports 34, a corresponding gap results between the lower edge of the roof panel 32 and the upper edge of the uppermost wall panel 22. Preferably, the roof connector 30 is adapted to cover this gap. Alternatively, the levelers 25 can be set slightly above the base of the lowermost scaffolding section 18a, so that all the wall panels 22 be slightly offset with the scaffolding sections 18 and thus cover the gap. The gap will thus be transferred below the base member 24 instead of above the front wall 12, where it can easily covered using the tarpaulin 38 (see FIG. 1).

Once the walls 12, 14 and roof 16 of the scaffolding shelter 10 are installed, there typically remains gaps between the base members 24 and the ground, between the side shelter walls 14 and the building, and between the roof panels 32 and the building. In some applications, these gaps are not significant, however, in applications where it is desired to maintain a controlled atmosphere in the shelter 10, these gaps present undesired leaks and must preferably be covered. This is achieved by providing one long edge of the wall panels 22e, the base members 24, and roof panels 32a, 32b with a plurality of fastening members 48 such as push buttons, eyelets, or the like and to which a tarpaulin 38 can be fastened to seal the gaps (see FIGS. 1 and 4). The tarpaulin 38 is fastened to the shelter 10 using the fastening members 48, and secured to cover the gaps in any suitable manner known in the art.

From the above discussion, the shelter 10 must include several components in quantities which are adjusted depending on the size of the scaffolding 17 to be enclosed. Therefore, the shelter 10 is preferably manufactured in the form of a kit for providing a scaffolding shelter 10 rather than in its assembled configuration. The kit includes self-supporting wall panels 22, base members 24, vertical and horizontal H connectors 26, L shaped members 36, roof frames 34, roof connectors 30, roof panels 32, tarpaulins 38 and a number of fasteners. Depending of the quantities of the different components in the kit, one can assemble a shelter 10 to a scaffolding 17 of the desired size.

Although the preferred shelter 10 was described with reference to the drawings, one skilled in the art will understand that many modifications and adaptations can be made within the scope of the invention. For example, the above-described scaffolding shelter kit is adapted to Mason scaffolding made of 10′×5′×5′ scaffolding sections. However, scaffolding frames having 3′×5′, 4′×5′ and 6′4″×5′ are also available, as well as cross-braces having 7′ in length instead of 10′. The shelter of the invention can be adapted to such different sizes by adapting the dimensions of the components, and primarily the panels 22. The invention can also be adapted to different types of scaffolding.

Aluminum tubing is preferred to make the frames 40 of panel 22 and the roof supports 34, because aluminum provides low weight components having the desired structural resistance, and is resistant to corrosion. However, other materials may be used to provide frames for self supporting panels 22, such as plastic, steel, graphite, wood etc. For the membranes 44, impervious sheeting material can be used instead of laminated polyethylene weave, such as polyvinyl chloride fabric, and other fabrics or plastic sheets. The membrane material is preferably selected so that the shelter 10 is air and vapor tight to provide controlled atmosphere around the work area. The panels 22 could alternatively be provided without frames 40, and still be self-supporting. For example plexiglass™ panels could be used.

As described, the preferred engagement between the panels 22 is achieved using H connectors 26 which are provided separately from the panels 22. Alternatively, the H connectors 26 can be provided secured onto the edges of the panels 22. Furthermore, other types of connectors can be used to provide the desired inter-panel engagement, such as providing the panels 22 with opposite mating edges adapted to receive the opposite edge of a superposed or adjoined side-by-side panel 22. In the latter case, the connector is the mating edges of the panels 22.

Furthermore, means other than fastening the panels 22 to the scaffolding can be used to prevent the panels 22 from tipping down. For example, the panels 22 could be held against the scaffolding using an external structure.

The preferred embodiment of the invention provides for rapid installation of a resistant scaffolding shelter which is substantially air-tight, thus allowing internal control of the atmosphere, and allowing the shelter to be heated during winter. The use of self-supporting panels 22 of the dimensions of the scaffolding sections facilitates the erection of the self-supporting walls of the shelter and allows to quickly adapt the size of the wall to the size of the scaffolding to enclose. The base members 24 allow to level the walls of the shelter on uneven ground independently from the scaffolding, and allows adjustments to be made to the level of the walls even once the shelter is erected. This is particularly suited to compensate for the melting of ice beneath the base members 24 due to heating inside the shelter 10. The shelter 10 can be mounted easily by an inexperienced worker with only little training or explanation, and the components can be disassembled, stored, and reused in a different configuration at another scaffolding site.

Many variations and adaptations are possible to the embodiment of the invention described above. Therefore, the description of the preferred embodiment is intended to be exemplary only. The scope of the invention is to be limited solely by the scope of the appended claims.